Let Freedom Ring Must Reads
The Senate Banking Committee hearings last week addressed two of the most abominable practices by predatory bank lenders like Wells Fargo: force-placed insurance and forced arbitration. The very names of these practices reek of anti-consumer heavy-handedness. In his testimony, Wells Fargo’s Chief Executive Timothy Sloan showed no remorse for either practice. That will come as no surprise to anyone who noticed that he also lied. While sanctimoniously citing one case that the bank chose to settle, he implied that forced arbitration was no longer its policy, yet the fact is that Wells Fargo is attempting to force customers into arbitration in three different cases right now.
Consumers should not be forced to pay for insurance policies that they did not approve at rip-off premium rates to protect the bank’s interest, and they should not be forced to relinquish their constitutional rights to sue a lender over coercive and rapacious collection processes. Both of these practices are egregious and, if not voluntarily ended, will inevitably lead to over-regulation. Banks should realize that honest, clear and transparent contract terms that consumers can comprehend are preferable to “gotcha” provisions that may squeeze a few extra dollars of fee income out of their customers, while enraging them to the point that they will never return.
Colin Hanna is President of Let Freedom Ring